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First Looks at Ishpeming, Gwinn in Tri-Scrimmage


Ishpeming, MIAugust 22, 2019 – The autumn feeling was in full effect Thursday morning in the swamp at the Playgrounds in Ishpeming. A week ahead of their week 1 games, Ishpeming, Gwinn, and Houghton met up at the Ishpeming Playgrounds for a tri-scrimmage. The air was crisp, the sky cloudy, and the football tough and hard-hitting.

I came away impressed for different reasons for all 3 teams. It was a bit of a tough start for Ishpeming in their first offensive possession, going against Gwinn. A 2-yard gain in their first play, followed by consecutive snaps over their quarterback left first year head coach asking his team to please get the snap correct – in so many words. Ishpeming found their groove not long after, when their ball carrier appeared to get stuffed at the line of scrimmage, but was able to bounce it outside for a long score. When running the football, Ishpeming looked good. Good blocking up front, and speed to get to the edge.

Gwinn’s defense came away as big, strong, and physical. Ishpeming had trouble winning the line of scrimmage against them multiple times. However, the big play haunted Gwinn, as it did in October on the very same field in their playoff matchup with Ishpeming. They didn’t wrap up, missed open field tackles – all very much to the dismay of coach Dion Brown. The offense looked solid under returning senior quarterback Caleb Anderson. Anderson is a big, strong kid with a good arm and enough size and speed to make plays in Gwinn’s red-option spread offense.

Houghton looked a bit outmatched physically early on. Smaller than both Gwinn and Ishpeming, but offensively were able to make some very athletic plays. The Gremlins got better as the scrimmage went on and converted on some nice scoring plays.

Biggest Takeaway: Ishpeming throwing the ball more than in the past. I am not sure if this is a sign of things to come, or if Ishpeming wanted to get some live-action work when they get the chance if they find themselves in situations where they need to throw. But I came away thinking Ishpeming threw the ball today more than I have ever seen.

Week 1 matchups:

Ishpeming vs Manistique – Friday, August 30 – 7:00pm – Listen on 98.3 WRUP and online at

Gwinn vs Bark River-Harris – Thursday, August 29 – 7:00pm

Houghton @ Westwood – Thursday. August 29 – 7:00pm

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